Another year another crazy summer transfer window. There were tears, failed transfers and Jim White in a dashing yellow tie, it had it all. Due to a bank holiday on Monday the Premier League closed eighteen hours after their continent counterparts, and that had a major effect on the last day excitement.
The funniest thing about transfer deadline day is that it used to be a really fun and unusual moment in the season which was hard to replicate, something which happened organically but it no longer is that. It’s sort of like when something cool happens and everyone likes it, only for a knob like David Cameron to try and get in on the trend only to totally kill it dead on the spot, Sky Sports have essentially killed the beauty that was transfer deadline day because they made it into a big spectacle, which can now only disappoint. The reason Jim White is Mr. Transfer Deadline Day is that he was working the dead shifts on Sky Sports News, the spots reserved for the nobody presenters, and he was lucky that it happened to take off and he then became the man, he was part of the joke, now he thinks he’s in on it and it ruins it. Plus I miss the crowd and their purple dildos.
This year was also pretty ridiculous when they pulled out the Football Manager, in a what the fuck was in my drink sort of moment. I love Football Manager as much as the next guy and I think that their scouting system is immense, however a news channel shouldn’t really be using a game to compare football players, and it couldn’t look any more ridiculous if they tried.
It wasn’t just Sky Sports who were ridiculous this year, no, sadly the world of sports journalism has become an absolute joke, with everyone claiming to have scoops and stories being made up left right and that other place. Never before have I seen so many unsubstantiated claims in my life which are clearly total bollocks, I mean Charlie Austin to Man Utd or Chelsea? Yes, that’s how ridiculous some of them were.
The review will be pretty simple; I will look at each team’s signings and departures, how it will affect their league position, as well as whether or not they did good business. So let’s get ready to go and stuff!
Ins: Petr Cech (£10m)
Outs: Lukas Podolski (£1.8m), Abou Diaby (free), Carl Jenkinson (loan), Yaya Sanogo (loan), Wojciech Szczesny (loan), Serge Gnabry (loan) and many others of insignificance
Cech is an excellent signing and finally fixes the goalkeeping position which for so many years has been a problem for Arsenal, and…em…they didn’t sign anyone else you say…? It always seems that Arsenal seem like they’re only a few transfers away from putting in a challenge for the Premier League, yet every year they come up short. They signed Cech this year, fairly early and for a good price which should have given them plenty of time to push on and fix their defensive midfield, centre back and striker issues, instead Wenger ignored them again. I know it is hard to sign players sometimes, and there is no point in buying someone for the sake of it, but there were players out there to get got and Arsenal failed to get them.
Arsenal haven’t actually lost anyone in the window, which is nice, but their squad still has a lot of deadweight left which really should have been gutted (Flamini…Arteta…). I thought they could be challenging for the league this year, now they won’t. You can’t put in a genuine challenge when so much of your first eleven is mediocre. I’m talking about Mertesacker, Coquelin and Giroud, amongst others who are squad players and aren’t really up to much.
Have Arsenal improved their squad? Yes the signing of Cech means yes, but they needed more than Cech and have bottled it. The depth at centre back and up front is concerning for Arsenal, to the extent that they won’t challenge for the league, they’ll get top four but this seasons ambitions should have been more than fourth.
Ins: Jordan Amavi (£10m), Idrissa Gueye (£9m), Jordan Ayew (£8.5m), Jordan Veretout (£8m), Adama Traore (£7m), Rudy Gestede (£6m), Scott Sinclair (£2.5m), Joleon Lescott (£1m) Jose Angel Crespo (£500k), Micah Richards (free), Mark Bunn (free), Tiago Ilori (loan)
Outs: Christian Benteke (£32.5m), Fabian Delph (£8m), Andreas Weimann (£2.75m), Darren Bent (free), Aly Cissokho (loan), Shay Given (free), Matthew Lowton (undis), Yacouba Sylla (undis), others
Em…I don’t watch French football and their top four signings all played there, so I really haven’t got a clue how good they’ll be or are, it’s a lot of money though. I’ve also never seen Traore play (this is turning into a disaster…) but I have seen Gestede play (yay!!!) and it’s a decent pick up for a guy who will give defenders problems. Sinclair for £2.5m is decent, as is Lescott for £1m and Richards for free is an excellent pick up. The biggest thing about Villa this window is that they lost their two best players in Benteke and Delph and with all that money they did a Newcastle and threw it at a bunch of Ligue 1 players. Delph for £8m seemed a bit cheap but they did good business on the Benteke deal. To be fair to the board they have instantly invested the money back into the squad, however often when so many players come in the team struggles to gel, but with Super Sherwood in charge I’m sure they’ll be fine…probably…
Have Villa improved their squad? Probably because at least one or two of those big signings are bound to click and the lower cost signings also improve the team. Villa won’t be relegated, however with the amount of money spent they should really be pushing for a top half finish, now anything else is a failure.
Ins: Tyrone Mings (£8m), Max Gradel (£7m), Lee Tomlin (£3m), Artur Boruc (free), Josh King (free), Adam Federici (free), Sylvain Distin (free), Christian Atsu (loan), Filippo Costa (loan), Glenn Murray (£5m), Joe Bennett (loan), Tomas Andrade (loan)
Outs: lots and lots of nothing.
Mings is a good prospect, Gradel looks like a good player, Boruc is a good (if crazy) keeper and £5m seems a bit steep for Murray but he has shown that he can score at this level. The problem with Bournemouth for me is that they had a Championship squad when they got promoted and it feels like they still have a Championship squad. They play a good style and they over achieved in the Championship, so maybe can do the same here but I think it’s a big ask.
Have Bournemouth improved their squad? Yes but probably not by enough.
Ins: Baba Rahman (£21m), Pedro (£21m), Asmir Begovic (£8m), Kenedy (£6.7m), Nathan (£4.5m), Michael Hector (£4.5m), Danilo Pantic (£1.25m), Radamel Falcao (loan), Papy Djilobodji (£2.2m)
Outs: Petr Cech (£10m), Thorgan Hazard (£5.8m), Oriol Romeu (£4m), Filipe Luis (£14m), Didier Drogba (free), Mo Salah (loan), Juan Cuadrado (loan), Victor Moses (loan) and so many other loans
A very unusual window for Chelsea as they sold Cech only to bring in Begovic (a good but lesser replacement), they sold Luis and brought in Rahman (a good but lesser replacement) and they sent Cuadrado out on loan and brought in Pedro (a better replacement). Falcao also came in, although the criticism which Utd received seemed to disappear because Mourinho can never be wrong. I wrote up in the season preview that I felt that Falcao looked scared that he was going to reinjure himself which was leading to him pulling out of fifty fifty’s and ultimately this is very hard to replace for a player, if Costa gets injured they’re in trouble.
Pedro is a really nice pickup and for only £21m it seems like a bargain. You get a player who has won it all, is in his peak, has pace and can finish, he makes the team instantly better. The odder part is why they discarded Cuadrado so quickly, the guy was excellent for Fiorentina and yet in half a season at Chelsea he isn’t good enough? Seems very odd. The Filipe Luis situation is also very odd when you consider what a quality player he is, Rahman is a downgrade but has potential, and I know who I’d rather have right now.
It’s a really weird window for Chelsea because there is nothing worse which the champions can do than sit on their hands and think that their team doesn’t need to improve. Utd after their last league title did exactly this and we all know how that turned out. I’m not saying that Chelsea are going to finish 7th, however they have started the season atrociously and their signings (with the exception of Pedro) really aren’t of the quality of a league winning side.
The whole John Stones debacle has made Chelsea look weak and ill prepared for the season. I agree that Everton were wanting too much for Stones, who has essentially had one good season, however the way the market has went, especially for English talent, they maybe should have just bit their tongue and accepted their fate, it’s certainly better than bringing in some shit guy from France.
What would concern me if I were a Chelsea fan is that the squad has terrible depth. This is made all the worse when you look at how poorly some of the older players have started the season (namely Terry and Ivanovic). Chelsea’s first eleven is very good, however when you scratch the surface there isn’t much underneath. If Terry or Cahill go out, they have to bring in Zouma, who in my opinion isn’t a great defender and gets away with it because he is such a physical beast of a man, the problem with this is that against good teams he will be found out and when you go past Zouma there really is nothing there. If Costa goes out then you are hoping that Falcao and Remy can step up, which in itself is hugely optimistic. I think if you look at the Chelsea team there is maybe fifteen players who are of the required class, for them to genuinely challenge for the league they will need to avoid injuries, something which did happen last year, however for it to happen two years in a row is highly unlikely.
Have Chelsea improved their squad? If at all, it’s barely and if you want to make a genuine challenge for the title you have to do a lot more than barely improve your squad, especially when some of your main title contenders have improved theirs greatly.
Ins: Yohan Cabaye (£12.8m), Connor Wickham (£9m), Alex McCarthy (£3.5m), Bakary Sako (free), Patrick Bamford (loan)
Outs: Glenn Murray (£5m), other shit players
Cabaye for £12.8m is an incredible piece of business for Palace. Who would have thought they could pull in a player who wouldn’t have looked out of place as a signing for Spurs or Liverpool? I must be missing something when Wickham costs £9m because he really isn’t that good, yes he puts himself about but you really want more than that when you are pushing for a top half finish. McCarthy’s a decent keeper, Bamford is a decent talent (although I never understand why teams take other teams players on loan without an option to buy because there is no long term benefit for you) and Sako is in the mould of Zaha and Bolasie.
Have Palace improved their squad? Yes, Cabaye’s a steal and they only lost Murray which is differing levels of who cares. The Pardew revolution kicks on.
Ins: Gerard Deulofeu (£4.2m), Mason Holgate (£1m), Tom Cleverley (free), Ramiro Funes Mori (£9.5m), Aaron Lennon (£4m)
Outs: Sylvain Distin (free), Luke Garbutt (loan), Antolin Alcaraz (free)
What do Everton want in this world? They aren’t going to win the league and they aren’t going to make the top four, so surely making Europe and a chance of Europa League glory is what the club is all about. Yet last year when they made Europa League all they could do is bitch and moan about being stuck in the Europa League. This problem is further imbedded when they spend so little in the transfer market. I don’t want them to go crazy, however if what they want is top four, then they aren’t going to get it by spending under £20m. What makes it worse is that the players are other clubs cast offs, or have been with the club since Martinez arrived. Mori is the first reasonably priced signing who has come in and hasn’t been at the club on loan for a number of seasons.
Probably the biggest success of Everton’s window was keeping John Stones, it’s good for the player and it’s good for the club. Stones may not see it now, but staying at Everton is the best move for his long term career. Hopefully for Everton Stones will be a professional and show Chelsea why he is worth the money Everton were asking for him, it’ll be a big season with many question for him.
Have Everton improved their squad? Yes because they didn’t actually lose anyone, however the additions don’t really improve their first eleven but will bolster the squad. If their aim is top ten then I guess it’s ok, but it should be more.
Ins: Shinji Okazaki (£7.2m), N’Golo Kante (£5.6m), Robert Huth (£3m), Gohkan Inler (£3m), Yohan Benalouane (undis), Christian Fuchs (free), Nathan Dyer (loan)
Outs: Dave Nugent (£4m), Chris Wood (undis), Esteban Cambiasso (free), so many others
One of the best pieces of business Leicester did this summer was dump Nigel Pearson, he was a bad manager and an idiot to boot, quite the combo. Claudio Ranieri isn’t really a great replacement and is one of those guys who has a big reputation for having done not too much.
Leicester signings however have been pretty good; I was surprised Okazaki couldn’t do better than Leicester to be honest, Dyer is a great pick up on loan, Fuchs on a free is solid, as is Huth and Inler is another really good transfer. The clubs losses aren’t really significant, although Cambiasso is a loss, and how they got £4m for Nugent is beyond me.
Have Leicester improved their squad? Yes quite substantially. They’ve added pace up front and steeliness going back, whilst also dumping a numpty manager. All in all a good window. Is it enough to keep them up? They’ve started the season well and made good signings, it’ll be close.
Ins: Christian Benteke (£32.5m), Roberto Firmino (£29m), Nathaniel Clyne (£12.5m), Joe Gomez (£3.5m), James Milner (free), Adam Bogdan (free), Danny Ings (fee to be decided)
Outs: Raheem Sterling (£49m), Fabio Borini (£10m), Rickie Lambert (£3m), Sebastian Coates (£2m), Steven Gerrard (free), Glen Johnson (free), Mario Balotelli (loan), Lazar Markovic (loan)
You have to give it to Liverpool, they sure know how to sell players. I mean £10m for Borini! Who thought that was a good deal at Sunderland? Get him sacked. They also sold Sterling for £49m which is about £24m more than he’s worth, alas this market is silly and if FFP isn’t properly implemented this is what you get. Gerrard also left on a free in what was a sad day for Jamie Carragher, who will now have no reason to bring Gerrard up in every footballing conversation he has, although I’m sure he’ll still find a way. It’s funny to think that the three stars of the Liverpool league runners up team are now all gone in the space of a year, quite incredible really, and certainly not how you build on success.
Liverpool used a large chunk of that greedy bastard money on bringing in Benteke for £12.5m more than he’s worth. I like Benteke, but they’ve overpaid for him and he doesn’t really fit into the style of the team. His first touch isn’t great and neither is his link up play, he is however a good target man, is strong, good in the air and can score. Firmino was also overpriced (by about £10m), he was good in the Bundesliga, however it’s a different league and it will depend on how quickly he fits in because at that price you’d expect nothing other than speedily. Clyne’s a good pickup and fills a gap at right back, Joe Gomez looks a decent prospect and Milner on a free is good business as well. I don’t understand the Ings signing, yes it was a low transfer fee (probably) but he hasn’t shown that he’s good enough to play at this level. Ings was ok last season, but I wouldn’t say he was a massive stick out in a poor side.
The thing about Liverpool’s signings is that they’re all the sort of players who the top clubs don’t want, so Liverpool get them. Players like Milner, Benteke and Clyne are all good solid players but they aren’t what you’d call top notch. Sadly that is where Liverpool now are, they can’t compete with the top four teams, so have to make do with the scraps.
That’s even more money spent by Rodgers with very little return, I can’t imagine he has much more time left if his results don’t improve. It’s funny that Rodgers took a dig at Spurs’ spending after Bale left and followed that up by spending so much more and delivering much much less. Despite having 7 points they’ve started very poorly this season, I wouldn’t be shocked if Rodgers is out of a job by the time the window opens again.
Have Liverpool improved their squad? I think they have, although I’ve been fairly critical, they have added at least three starters. The problem is that that they have lost the leader in the dressing room and their best player in Sterling. Liverpool have a mediocre squad for where they want to be, if they’re lucky they could get 5th.
Ins: Kevin De Bruyne (£52m), Raheem Sterling (£49m), Nicolas Otamendi (£32m), Fabian Delph (£8m), Patrick Roberts (£8m), Enes Unal (£2m)
Outs: Scott Sinclair (£2.5m), Matija Nastasic (£8m), Dedryck Boyata (£1m), Micah Richards (free), James Milner (free), John Guidetti (free), Stevan Jovetic (loan), Edin Dzeko (loan), Jason Denayer (loan), Alvaro Negredo (£24m)
City have spent a shit ton of money, however they have spent it very very well. The front four of KDB, Silva, Sterling and Aguero is immense and will give any team a problem. I have to applaud City because people say you can’t throw money at a problem…well based on this I disagree. City had weakness in their front four, sign two excellent players. City had a weakness in the heart of their defence, sign an excellent centre back. City have problems meeting their English quote, sign Delph…and Roberts (who is one for the future, although I question this move for his career).
Yes I think you can sit back and criticise the fact that City have grossly overpaid for their players (Delph excluded). KDB cost £22m too much (on a side note how silly does Jose look right about now?), Sterling cost £24m too much and Otamendi cost £7m too much, but to be fair to City FFP got relaxed (thanks Platini…) and City said fuck it we’re spending our money, and so they did.
City also did a good job of clearing out all their dead weight; gone is Milner and his boring face, Richards (their only real academy product), Negredo for a ridiculous £24m (what were Valencia thinking?), Dzeko and Jovetic were bounced out on loan with option to buys and Sinclair or Delph in three years as I like to call him. The one I will never understand is Nastasic, who is a good young player who after one season got thrown to the curb. I didn’t think he was the best player ever, however he would’ve at least have been their second best centre back last season. Put it like this, if I were a player under the age of 24, I wouldn’t go within a mile of signing for City.
If you want negatives about City signings I can give you them too (because I’m a negative guy in real life); Sterling has an attitude problem, is only in it for Raheem and has a poor end product, KDB was a bust at Chelsea and according to Mourinho has mentality problems (needs to be the centre of attention) and Otamendi was rated below Mangala at Porto and look how well Mangala did last season. On the other hand City have picked up one of the brightest young English talents who should only improve (end ball can come with age and experience), KDB could have matured from his time at Chelsea, may have a chip on his shoulder and you don’t go from being the best player in Germany to shit overnight and Otamendi just crushed it at Valencia and the step up from Spain isn’t nearly as different as the one from Portugal.
Sop have City improved their squad? Yes they certainly have, they got rid of a bunch of mediocre players and got three players who instantly make their first eleven better as well as Delph who will look shiny on the bench. I do think they look a little light up top, with only Aguero and Bony, especially concerning when you consider how injury prone the former is. If you combine this with the start they have made this season, well you’ve got a team which looks fucking good, if the players can stay fit (which is a big ask based on their past) they look hard to stop right now.
Ins: Anthony Martial (£36m), Morgan Schneiderlin (£25m), Memphis Depay (£25m), Bastian Schweinsteiger (£6m), Matteo Darmian (£12m), Regan Poole (£400k), Sergio Romero (free)
Outs: Angel Di Maria (£44m), Javier Hernandez (£12m), Jonny Evans (£6m), Nani (£4m), Robin Van Persie (£3.85), Rafael (£2.5m), Tom Cleverley (free), Anders Lindegaard (free) Adnan Januzaj (loan), others
Another summer another mess at Old Trafford. Whether or not the rumours which circle round the club are true or not is really irrelevant because the club lets them linger about like Anderson at the buffet table, and then when Utd don’t get them it makes the club look amateur. The Ramos saga was a mess, however the fact that Utd never signed another centre backs says they be have been unfounded. The Pedro saga is probably an odder one because everyone was saying the deal was complete, yet Utd got pipped by Chelsea, however you wonder if there is any substantial truth to the rumour when Utd aren’t shy in paying for a player and at £21m it was small change for the club. I’m of the opinion that if Utd had really wanted him he would have signed and the hold up kind of agrees with that idea (bids which hit release clauses can’t be delayed), saying that I really don’t know why Utd weren’t interested in a player with vast amounts of experience and who would fill a need for the club.
If only that were the end of the controversies, but you’d be wrong. Three words; David De Gea. What a royal fuck up from Real Madrid. They had almost four months to get the deal sorted and they waited to the last day to get it done. The cynic in me wonders if they ever had intentions of signing him this summer and this was all part of the Real parade to unsettle him and get him on a free next summer. The thing is the evidence points to Real playing silly buggers and I know if it was my life and livelihood they were pissing about with that I’d be pretty pissed. In fact the rumours flying about that if De Gea signs for Madrid on a free he’ll get a £7m bonus, sounds very nice doesn’t it, however if I was Utd I’d say to De Gea that we’ll let you go in the summer if that’s your wish and they come back (which they will) but in the meantime sign this three year contract with this nice £10m bonus and we can both benefit from fucking Real and everyone wins but those fuckers. A year is a long time in life and we all know the reason De Gea wants to move to Madrid is because of his stupid girlfriend, it would be interesting to see what would happen if he were to break up with her in the coming months, it may make Real look pretty silly. Anyway if De Gea is a professional (which I’m sure he will be) then Utd haven’t come out of the whole debacle too badly and still have the best keeper in the league.
All that and I haven’t even talked about who Utd have actually bought or sold, ah the world we live in. Utd did really well in the transfer market in terms of bringing players in; Memphis is one of the brightest prospects in world football, Schneiderlin is a great defensive midfielder, Darmian looks an absolute steal, Schweinsteiger brings much needed experience, leadership and a winning mentality and all came for really good money and are four instant starters. Martial at £36m seems incredibly steep and probably cost £16m more than he should have, however he will bring much needed pace and if he is the next Henry (a very big if) then he will be worth it. Romero also came in as a free which is a good signing as a backup, terrible if you think he’s the starter.
It’s funny to think that Angel Di Maria and Falcao have now left Utd after one year and I’m not too bothered about either player leaving, it says a lot about their performances last season. The £15m loss on Di Maria to a club which just a year ago paid £50m for David Luiz is a hard pill to swallow, however it’s better than having a player who isn’t fully committed to the club sitting huffing on the bench. RVP, Nani and Rafael all were sold off for a pittance, which is quite annoying when you see what other players are going for (Utd are terrible at selling players). Evans finally left for a reasonable sum and Cleverley finally left on a free, it’s always sad to see academy products leave but neither was really good enough. Then we have the odd situation of Hernandez being sold to Bayer. Obviously LVG didn’t fancy Hernandez so I’m not surprised he went, what surprises me is that he has let him go without getting a replacement in, which is culminated in the even odder situation of Januzaj being allowed to go on loan to Dortmund (will he really get more minutes there than at Utd, also hopefully not an option to buy, otherwise it is terrible business). The problem with letting both men go is that it now leaves Utd short in the front four, which is now the biggest area of weakness in the side. If Rooney gets injured then Utd will seriously be in the shitter.
Have Utd improved their squad? Undoubtedly. Although the last couple of weeks has seemed messy and Martial is being called a panic buy by some (it isn’t), Utd still did incredibly good business, bringing in potentially five starters and strengthening in areas of weakness. There are still areas of concern up front and some of the players let go late in the window was peculiar, however Utd should be happy with their summer dealings.
Ins: Georgino Wijnaldum (£14.5m), Aleksandar Mitrovic (£12.5m), Florian Thauvin (£12m), Chancel Mbemba (£8.5m), Ivan Toney (£300k)
Outs: Mehdi Abeid (£2m), Jonas Gutierrez (free), Remy Cabella (loan), Shane Ferguson (loan), Sammy Ameobi (loan), Ryan Taylor (free), others
Back to back season now that Newcastle have splashed the cash and they’ve spent it pretty well. Wijnaldum is a great pickup and could be a star in this team, Thauvin could have the same sort of impact. Mbemba will fill a hole in defence, however they needed so much more than one player. Mitrovic is…well…feisty…The jury is out on Mitrovic but as things stand he looks like a hot head with ability, where he goes from here nobody knows. Newcastle’s best signing in my opinion is Steve McClaren, who was criminally released from Derby. McClaren has been stung by his time in charge of England, however he is an excellent coach who tends to make the teams he is in charge of much better, great guy too.
Have Newcastle improved their squad? Yes they’ve improved their squad, manager and first team, the trifecta of excellence, they should have a solid season.
Ins: Graham Dorrans (£4m), Robbie Brady (£7m), Youssouf Mulumbu (free), Andre Wisdom (loan), Jake Kean (free), Dieumerci Mbokani (loan), Matt Jarvis (loan)
Outs: Bradley Johnson (£6m), lots of others
I fear for Norwich because they have a decent squad, but ultimately a squad which isn’t really of Premier League class. The additions of Dorrans, Mulumbu (neither of whom could get into the West Brom squad) and Brady (who is decent) are ok but not great, Jarvis is a decent player but that’s all, and Wisdom is flat out shit. I also find it odd that they let Johnson go. Alex Neil is a really good young manager but if he can keep this Norwich side up he’ll be a miracle worker.
Have Norwich improved their squad? Yes but not by enough to stay up in my opinion.
Ins: Jordy Clasie (£10.5m), Juanmi (£5m), Oriol Romeu (£4m), Cedric Soares (undis), Cuco Martina (undis), Maarten Stekelenburg (loan), Steven Caulker (loan)
Outs: Morgan Schneiderlin (£25m), Nathaniel Clyne (£12.5m), Artur Boruc (free) Dani Osvaldo (free), others
The annual Southampton purge struck again this summer as they lost two more starters, however the Southampton machine churns on as if nothing ever happened. Clasie should be a good pickup and Juanmi is a steal at £5m, Cedric is a straight replacement for Clyne, Caulker is a solid centre back pickup and Stekelenburg will fill in till Forster is full recovered. I don’t understand what they were thinking with the Romeu transfer, however you can’t hit on every transfer, take a look at Osvaldo being released on a free after being their record transfer.
Have Southampton improved their squad? Probably not, to replace two big players like Clyne and Schneiderlin is always going to be very difficult and although I think they’ve done a decent job, the team is still worse than back in May.
Ins: Xherdan Shaqiri (£12m), Joselu (£5.9m), Jakob Haugaard (£600k), Philipp Wollscheid (undis), Moha El Ouriachi (undis), Sergio Molina (undis), Shay Given (free), Glen Johnson (free), Ibrahim Afellay (free), Marco Van Ginkel (loan)
Outs: Asmir Begovic (£8m), Steven Nzonzi (£7m), Robert Huth (£3m), others
An immense transfer window for Stoke as they did the impossible and signed some really good players. I mean Shaqiri is now playing at Stoke…it’s like we’re living in an alternate reality or something. Why weren’t Liverpool, Spurs or even an Arsenal or Utd in for him? He’s young, has shown he has tons of ability and at £12m he is surely worth the risk, great piece of business from Stoke. Afellay on a free is another didn’t see this one coming, yes he has fallen from grace but it is worth the risk. I’m sure they’re sad to see Nzonzi go because he was a good player, Begovic got replaced for Butland so that was good business and Huth was surplus to requirements.
Have Stoke improved as a team? Yes they’ve done some really good business and although Nzonzi is a loss, the additions of Shaqiri, Wollschied, Joselu and Afellay more than make up for it.
Ins: Fabio Borini (£10m), Jeremain Lens (£8m), Younes Kaboul (£3m), Sebastian Coates (£2m), Adam Matthews (£2m), Yann M’Vila (loan), Ola Toivonen (loan), DeAndre Yedlin (loan)
Outs: Connor Wickham (£9m), others
Oh Sunderland…if a transfer window screamed relegation, it was this one. You do a great job of selling Wickham for the nice sum of £9m and then buy Borini for £10m…what were you thinking? Terrible…just terrible. Lens is a nice pick up and so is Matthews (although why sign Yedlin when you have Matthews?), but the rest are your typical Sunderland signings the rejects of the big clubs and the never beens, it stinks of relegation.
Have Sunderland improved their squad? Yes but it couldn’t really have got much worse to be honest.
Ins: Eder (£5.2m), Franck Tabanou (£3.5m), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (undis), Andre Ayew (free), others
Outs: Nathan Dyer (loan), others
Ayew is the real stick out in this group and looks like an incredible piece of business. Swansea seem to consistently spend very little money, yet come out of it looking very good, they must have a mix of good scouts and a good coaching set up, overall I thinks it’s a really nice and good club. Beyond Ayew nothing really blows you away, but they never lost anyone which is just as important.
Have Swansea improved their squad? Yes Ayew is a great pickup and the other add depth.
Ins: Son Heung-Min (£22m), Toby Alderweireld (£11.5m), Clinton N’Jie (£10m), Kevin Wimmer (£4.3m), Kieran Trippier (£3.5m)
Outs: Paulinho (£9.8m), Roberto Soldado (£7m), Etienne Capoue (£6m), Benji Stambouli (£6m), Vlad Chiriches (£4.5m), Aaron Lennon (£4m), Younes Kaboul (£3m), Lewis Holtby (undis), DeAndre Yedlin (loan)
I had thought that Spurs had a really quiet and disappointing window, however when I started typing this out I came to the conclusion that they had a subtly excellent window They cleared out a huge chunk of dead weight (sadly no Adebayor) for over £40m (a lot of which was made up of the bad Bale signings) and made some really good signings which instantly helps their first team. Son is a great signing and he will make a very exciting front three with Eriksen and Kane (plus all those shirt sales) and Alderweireld slots in beautifully next to Vertonghen at the heart of the defence. Trippier, N’Jie and Wimmer all add young backups and squad depth as well for modest fees. All in all a very good window.
Have Spurs improved their squad? Yes they cleared out a whole lot of dead weight and bought very smartly, overall a very good window.
Ins: Etienne Capoue (£6m), Obbi Oulare (£6m), Steven Berghuis (£4.6m), Valon Behrami (£3m), Jose Holebas (£1.8m), Victor Ibarbo (loan), they signed shit tons of players, most of whom I don’t actually know and can’t be arsed typing out, sorry Watford fans
Outs: so many people
There are some interesting names in the list of players signed by Watford (Behrami and Ibarbo being the main two) however you can’t go signing this amount of players when you already have an overly bloated squad and expect to be successful. This is the sort of mistake you make on Football Manager (if it’s good enough for Sky Sports) when you go up a division and you just sign a shit ton of new players and the team doesn’t gel, that is what is going to happen here, it’s called QPR syndrome.
Have Watford improved their squad? Yes but their squad is way too big and they’ve signed way too many players, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Ins: Salomon Rondon (£12m), James Chester (£8m), Jonny Evans (£6m), Rickie Lambert (£3m), James McClean (undis), Anders Lindegaard (free), Serge Gnabry (loan)
Outs: Joleon Lescott (£1m), Graham Dorrans (£4m), Youssouf Mulumbu (free), others
Good window for West Brom and a bad window for West Brom. Good things included the signing of Rondon who looks pretty good, plus the signings of Chester (paid too much) and Evans who is a massive steal for only £6m and I have no doubt will be a stick out in this team, Lindegaard on a free is also a nice pickup (just buying ex-Utd players it seems). Lambert couldn’t be any more of a Tony Pulis signing if he tried; big, bulky and lacking in technique, Pulis all over. The players let go aren’t really a loss and the Gnabry loan is an odd one but oh well. All in all pretty good if it weren’t for the fact that arguably their best player (I don’t think he is personally) has fallen out with the club because they wouldn’t sell him and has told them he won’t play again, what a little shit bag. He has the privilege of playing football for a living for a club which brought him through and gave him a chance and now he is treating them like this, how ungrateful. I’ve never liked Berahino’s attitude but this is a new low for him, what a little brat. I feel sorry for West Brom because apparently Spurs low balled the bid in classic Levy fashion and may have tapped him up a bit, oh dear what a big mess. I’m sure Berahino will grow up and play this season but it’s still not great news for West Brom because it’s inevitable and now they’re going to just want to get rid of him.
Have West Brom improved their squad? Yes but there are other problems on the horizon thanks to other teams dastardly ways.
Ins: Dimitri Payet (£10.7m), Angelo Ogbonna (£8.5m), Michail Antonio (£7m), Pedro Obiang (£4.4m), Stephen Hendrie (£1m), Carl Jenkinson (loan), Alex Song (loan), Victor Moses (loan), Nikica Jelavic (£3m), others
Outs: Stewart Downing (£5m), Kevin Nolan (free), Carlton Cole (free), Matt Jarvis (loan), others
How West Ham have signed Payet I am not quite sure but here they are with Payet for a very reasonable fee. FIFA nerds will know about Ogbonna because pace be king, in fact most of the signings which West Ham have made are pacey guys. Song and Jenkinson are back on loan this year and that helps and there is the odd signing of Jelavic who is actually pretty shit, but alas you can’t win every game. Not sure why Downing was seen as surplus to requirements, he was really good last year, I can only assume Bilic didn’t fancy him or thought he was too slow, Nolan is unattached because he’s waiting for Big Sam to get a new job before quickly joining afterwards.
Have West Ham improved their squad? Yes they’ve made a number of signings which make the team better and have added bundles of pace.
The weird thing about the Premier League is that most of the teams didn’t really lose any players who they would have wanted to keep, which says one of two things; either the players aren’t desirable or the Premier League players are too expensive, it’s probably a bit of both. What is further concerning is that another one of the leagues star players (De Gea) should have been poached if it weren’t for Real’s fuck up, so it makes it another year where a big name in the league is lost to La Liga, which makes it pretty hard to call yourself the best league in the world.
Best 5 Signings
- Shaqiri (Stoke)
- Ayew (Swansea)
- Cabaye (Palace)
- Cech (Arsenal)
- Darmian (Utd)
Worst 5 Signings
- Borini (Sunderland)
- Wickham (Palace)
- Romeu (Southampton)
- Lambert (West Brom)
- Jelavic (West Ham)
Top 5 Transfer Window Teams
- Man Utd
- Man City
Worst 5 Transfer Window Teams
So now that the transfer window is closed here is my updated league predictions and what I consider to be my actual predictions for the season. I will also show how they contradict to my pre-season predictions.
1st—Man City +3
2nd—Man Utd 0
13th—West Ham 0
15th—West Brom -1
The chances of me getting everything right are slim to none, but I guess we’ll see at the end of the season. I think the bottom five is very tight just now and the top four is set, it’s just a question of who will win, although as things stand it looks like City’s to lose, saying that you don’t win the season after four games.
So if you’ve made it this far then why not take it one step further and leave a comment or if you really loved it (or moderately enjoyed) then why not join up to the Facebook and Twitter pages? If you’re a glutton for punishment then why not read what I thought of the 2014 summer transfer window, which happens to be in the same long as hell vein as this years. I need a stiff drink after writing this; just under 7k words if you’re interested…yes I have no life…